We’re thrilled to announce that Episode one of our podcast series – The Champion Safety Series – is now live on Horse & Hound.

In the first instalment of this six-part series w which our regular host Pippa Roome chats to brain injury survivor Sarah Washington on why helmets matter, plus we learn more about helmet design, testing and standards from Champion production engineer Ben Hanna.

What’s in The Champion Safety Series podcast: episode one

Rider Sarah Washington, 23, suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a fall and is now an active campaigner for helmet safety. Her message to fellow riders is simple: “When you’re on a horse, whatever horse it is, whatever you’re doing, you should always wear a properly fitted helmet and make sure it’s done up.

“Also make sure that after any accident, especially if it involves any impact to your head, you get a new helmet. It’s so important that you use one that’s in a good state and has been properly fitted.”

Sarah has ridden for a number of years, loaning horses during university, and also worked on a hunting yard. She was riding her loan horse while wearing a properly fitted safety helmet when the accident occurred during summer 2020: “I was out hacking with a close friend and we think my horse spooked and bolted. I was unseated and dragged as a fell. I’d been riding him for about 6 months so I knew him well, but something really scared him.”

Sarah was knocked unconscious, and the emergency services were called. Both an air ambulance and land ambulance attended, with Sarah being taken into Royal Stoke in an induced coma. A scan found severe bleeding and bruising on the brain, so she was closely monitored in intensive care for a few weeks before being brought around.

“I don’t remember anything about being in intensive care. It was quite a long time after I woke up that I have any memory, which does feel strange,” she explains.

“One of the things that I vividly remember is that I woke up and was convinced I was in Bristol, where I had been to university, and I hadn’t been in Bristol for about a year. It was like I’d lost a massive chunk of my life.”

Listen now to episode one of the The Champion Safety Series podcast for Sarah’s full story, plus insight from Champion production engineer Ben Hanna on helmet design, testing and standards.

Episode 2 will feature the team from MIPS and our Brand Manager Helen Riley release date to be confirmed soon.